Ok Roxy, this is an awkward one. Feel free to sugar coat slightly.
I normally travel with my husband (no children) but we are just starting to plan a multi-generational trip for New Year’s. (Yeah, I know, we should have planned this two months ago. Long story.)
My mother-in-law is not a regular traveler. In fact, I’m not really sure she’s a traveler. The problem is related to cleanliness. She’s a freak about it – specifically, she’s hindering us in choosing our hotel because, well, she’s worried about the hotels being dirty.
I’m not really sure what I can do to settle her fears. I have asked my friends, even one who travels with their young toddler, and no one seems quite as panicked as dear ol’ mom. Now I think she’s in my head and I’m picturing hotel rooms with police tape.
My question is, do we have a lot to worry about when it comes to clean hotel rooms? Besides reading the reviews carefully before making a decision, is there anything we should be doing to protect ourselves? (From what, I’m not even sure.) Morbidly curious on what you’ve seen in your years at the front desk.
Marilyn C., a.k.a. Soon-To-Be-Germphobic in LA
Oh, Marilyn, you do not want to know what I have seen!! But don’t become a germaphobe; there is hope, and safety, in numbers. I think you hit the nail on the head with reading reviews. Those are unsolicited (and brutally honest) tales of good and bad. The key is not to put all your faith in one review. Anyone can have a bad day and that will, of course, show up. What you want to look for are consistently bad reviews over time. If someone had one or two mishaps, but resolved them to the guests’ satisfaction, I would say let it go. Bad reviews with no resolution speak volumes; that is what you want to look out for.
Finish reading this column here.